ACA Round-Up: Fault lines show as ACA battle wages on

Dive Brief:

  • Republican efforts to repeal the ACA are already underway in the form of a budget resolution.
  • Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is opposing the repeal with a phrase that turns Trump’s popular election slogan against him: “Make America Sick Again,” Politico reported.
  • As Republicans rush to dismantle Obamacare, Democrats will work to slow the process and give them time to increase public support. 

Dive Insight:

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) appears to be moving forward, but the dust hasn’t even begun to settle on this issue.

Schumer is leading the Democratic party’s defense of the ACA, arguing that repeal of the law without a replacement will create chaos. Furthermore, he’s not limiting the Democratic message to stopping the ACA repeal: “Our message is don’t cut healthcare,” he told Politico. “Medicare. Medicaid. Obamacare.”

In addition to holding rallies that will ramp up in mid-January, Democrats plan to delay repeal as long as possible and force their opponents to make politically unpopular votes. Meanwhile, Vice-President-elect Mike Pence continues working to place the blame squarely on Democrats for passing a law that he says was broken from the beginning.

According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, repealing the ACA in its entirety would be expensive (roughly $350 billion though 2027), leaving no money available to enact a replacement and actually adding to federal debt. Savings associated with a partial repeal of the ACA, which is more realistic, vary widely according to which provisions of the complex law are removed.

Despite intentions, the speed of change in Congress is slow. And because the Republics are beginning their strategy with a budget resolution, they’ll be open to opposition that is based on budget alone. Senator Rand Paul (R-PA) said on Tuesday he will oppose the resolution for budgetary reasons—namely, that it will result in a budget that does not balance, Bloomberg reported.

Filed Under: Health IT Payer Health Law Policy & Regulation
Top image credit: Flickr; Tim Evanson